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Additional charges filed against man accused of shooting park ranger

The park ranger was shot in the chest but was not seriously hurt due to his vest, the document says.

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — A man accused of shooting a park ranger in Larimer County following a pursuit involving a Colorado State trooper earlier this month is now charged with both federal and local charges.

On Friday, the Larimer County District Attorney's Office announced that Daron Marquel Ellis was charged in connection with the incident that happened outside Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) prior to the shooting of the range.

The local charges include:

  • Vehicular eluding
  • Aggravated motor vehicle theft
  • Fictitious plates

Earlier this week Daron Marquel Ellis was charged by a federal complaint in connection with the shooting of a park ranger just inside Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) earlier this month.

Ellis is charged with assault on a federal officer by use of a deadly weapon, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado.

According to an arrest affidavit, Ellis shot at the ranger with a handgun near Highway 34 just a few yards into RMNP around 10:15 a.m. on Dec. 8. The shooting happened after the ranger attempted to stop the vehicle that Ellis was driving, the affidavit says. 

>The video above aired on the day of the shooting.

About a half hour before that, a Colorado State Patrol (CSP) trooper encountered the vehicle and pulled over the driver for speeding on Highway 34, the affidavit says. During that traffic stop, the affidavit says, the trooper did a search and realized that it appeared both the vehicle and license plate had been stolen separately. According to the affidavit, the vehicle and plate came back as registered to separate owners.

At one point the driver, later identified as Ellis, got out of the vehicle without being asked and eventually got back in, did a three-point turn, and drove off, the affidavit says. The trooper followed the vehicle for about a quarter mile before ending his pursuit, according to the affidavit.

Ellis drove through Estes Park before entering park grounds and encountering the park ranger, the affidavit says. An 18-year-old woman who was in the car with Ellis said when they encountered the ranger, Ellis "fishtailed" the car and went off the road and hit rocks, the affidavit says. The woman went on to say that the ranger got out of his car and approached their vehicle with his gun drawn and ordered them to "get out," with their hands up and threatened to shoot them, the document says. 

She reported that Ellis got a handgun and fired at the ranger "until he was out of ammunition," the affidavit says. She said she believed that Ellis fired first and the ranger fired back, striking Ellis. 

RELATED: Ballistic vest protected park ranger from serious injuries in shooting

The ranger was protected by a ballistic vest and did not suffer serious injuries, according to the National Park Service. According to the affidavit the ranger was struck in the left chest area and had an "impact" wound that did not break the skin due to his vest. He did have a bruise about 10 inches in diameter, the affidavit says. 

Both the ranger and injured suspect were taken to the hospital for medical care. The 18-year-old woman was taken into custody on a warrant unrelated to the events on Dec. 8.

RELATED: Suspect ID'd in attempted armed carjacking on I-25

Ellis made his initial appearance in Federal Court in Denver on Monday, where he was advised by a federal magistrate judge of the charge pending against him and ordered to remain in custody.

Assault on a federal officer by use of a deadly weapon carries a potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.


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